Plea to find mum’s body

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE -

A man with weeks to live has pleaded for help in find­ing his Mother­well-born mother who van­ished nearly 50 years ago when he was a baby.

Gra­ham Ruf­fle’s mum Ellen was last seen on Novem­ber 14, 1969, af­ter drop­ping him and his twoyear-old sis­ter Rose­mary at their gran’s home.

Ellen’s body has never been found although po­lice car­ried out ex­ten­sive foren­sic searches at the home she shared with her hus­band Nor­man.

Gra­ham re­vealed his ail­ing health has made his search for an­swers even more ur­gent.

He said: “I just want to know what hap­pened to my mum be­fore I die.

“I’m not in very good health at all. I’ve had three strokes and a heart at­tack. I’ve got tubes feed­ing me and I suf­fer from neu­ropa­thy.

“I have di­a­betes and kid­ney dis­ease.

“It’s so dif­fi­cult with my health know­ing I still have no an­swers as to what hap­pened to mum. I be­lieve my mum to be dead.”

In 2012, po­lice be­gan a new search for Ellen that fo­cused on the back gar­den and garage at the fam­ily’s for­mer Mother­well home but noth­ing was found.

Nor­man, now 77, was granted a di­vorce in 1975, and mar­ried sec­ond wife Senga in the same year. They live in Mel­rose in the Borders.

Ellen trained as a teacher and mar­ried Nor­man in Sin­ga­pore eight years be­fore her dis­ap­pear­ance.

Ellen taught in Sin­ga­pore, Bournemouth and schools in La­nark­shire and was work­ing at Cathe­dral Pri­mary School in Mother­well at the time of her dis­ap­pear­ance, when she was 34.

In 1976, Nor­man and Senga took Rose­mary and Gra­ham to live in South Africa where Gra­ham grew up be­liev­ing Senga was his real mum.

Dur­ing a pre­vi­ous plea for help in 2016, Gra­ham, now 50, said he feared some­thing “sin­is­ter” had hap­pened to his mum.

He added: “I wouldn’t like to hear mum was mur­dered and dumped in a field or some­thing. She de­serves a proper burial if she hasn’t al­ready had one.

“I’ve looked into the case as much as I could, as have the po­lice. There is no proof of her ever be­ing alive since the last day she was seen.”

Gra­ham, who lives in Lon­don, be­gan prob­ing his mum’s dis­ap­pear­ance af­ter he re­turned from South Africa in 1989.

Nor­man said in 2012 that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had brought back un­happy mem­o­ries.

Miss­ing Ellen was last seen in Novem­ber 1969

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